Rolf Harris trial: Australian woman accuses artist of kissing her when she was 12

"He said ‘good, I want to be the first person to introduce you to a tongue kiss’,” the unnamed woman alleged at the Old Bailey today

Crime Correspondent

An Australian woman told today how Rolf Harris stuck his tongue down her throat during a chance meeting while she was off sick from school, a court heard today.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that she was around 11 or 12 when she walked into communal area at a family friend’s home in Darwin where the entertainer was working on a wooden artistic creation.

“He asked me how old I was,” the woman told the Old Bailey trial about the alleged incident around 1969. “And he said ‘good, I want to be the first person to introduce you to a tongue kiss’.”

The woman, who was wearing only her pyjamas after just waking up, told Southwark Crown Court that she “froze” as he came up to her, ran his hands up her body and then held her.

“He was very tall,” she recalled and said that he leaned forward and gave her a “tongue kiss”.

“At the time it seemed to last forever, but it must have been very quick,” she said. “I was repulsed by it.”

The woman said that her parents both worked, and when she was ill went to the home of a family friend who was also an artist and friend of Mr Harris.

She said that she later told school friends about what had happened but they did not believe her. She said that the incident had left her feeling “frazzled and scared” whenever anyone tried to kiss her.

Entertainer Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court Entertainer Rolf Harris leaves Southwark Crown Court

The woman, who said she was also sexually assaulted by a member of her family when she was 17, said that the prevailing attitude was not to report the attacks. She said she only came forward to police at the suggestion of her husband after publicity in Australia about the entertainer.

Mr Harris, 84, has been accused of 12 counts of indecent assault against four women spanning some 18 years from 1968. The entertainer denies all of the charges.

The case continues.

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